Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang agrees that meat is destroying the planet — and that people should go vegetarian to curb climate change.
Yang explains his point of view in a video from CNN’s climate-focused town halls, which featured the 10 other Democratic candidates.
‘Good for the Environment’
Going vegetarian, Yang says is “good for the environment, it’s good for your health if you eat less meat. Certainly, meat is an extraordinarily expensive thing to produce from an environmental sustainability point of view. So, I think it would be healthy on both an individual and societal level for us to move in that direction.”
He references the recently released UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which recommended an immediate reduction to global meat consumption.
Yang acknowledges the roadblocks in getting all Americans to cut out meat. Firstly, the nation is centered around individualism, “so, you can’t force people’s eating choices on them.”
But he believes that there is a solution: “All do you know is try and shape our system so that over time we evolve in a productive way.”
Yang says that the government should help farmers shift toward more environmentally-friendly land use. But, he added that “economic incentives” — subsidies — lean heavily in one direction. The federal government subsidized the meat and dairy industries with $38 billion in 2016. More sustainable, plant-based crops received .04 percent of that ($17 million).
“So, we have to try to bring those together by providing economic incentives and resources to help farmers modernize,” Yang concludes.
There are over 160 policies on Yang’s campaign website, ranging from the “Freedom Dividend” — his version of Universal Basic Income that grants every American $1k a month — to restoring voting rights to former prisoners and protecting individuals from discrimination based on gender identity. He supports Medicare for all and there are 11 items on his environmental policy list.
Yang believes in ending subsidies for fossil fuels and employing a carbon tax to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. Yang also wants to increase the preservation of public lands and water. Plus, he’s in favor of getting rid of the penny. The one-cent coin costs more to make than what it’s worth and mining zinc and copper is “bad for the environment.”
During CNN’s town hall, he said he supports Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal. He also proposes a Constitutional amendment to make it the government’s responsibility to “safeguard and protect our environment for future generations.”